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Former English professor to plead guilty to child porn charges

Well-known English professor is slated to plead guilty to charges of child pornography

Former English professor Kirk Nesset will plead guilty to child pornography charges today, the Associated Press reports. Nesset was arrested in October after FBI agents say they discovered he was sharing pornography via a peer-to-peer network.

The day after his arrest, Nesset resigned from Allegheny College, where he taught literature and creative writing. He'd been teaching there since 1995.

Nesset faces felony counts of distribution, receipt and possession of child pornography, for which he initially filed a not guilty plea. The ABC news affiliate Jet-24 reports that by changing to a guilty plea, Nesset hopes to avoid a trial.

Many writers knew Nesset through such conferences as AWP and social media. Gawker quoted one who said she and Nesset shared 710 friends on Facebook, "which essentially represents our overlap in the writing community." Most expressed a combination of surprise and dismay at his arrest.

Nesset is the author of the short story collection "Paradise Road," which won the Drue Heinz Literature Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2007. His other words include the poetry collection "Saint X" and the 2009 short story collection "Mr. Agreeable."

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